March 25, 2020

Do You Want to be Healed?

John 5:1–17

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The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic1 called Bethesda,2 which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.3 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews4 said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”


[1] 5:2 Or Hebrew
[2] 5:2 Some manuscripts Bethsaida
[3] 5:3 Some manuscripts insert, wholly or in part, waiting for the moving of the water; 4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred the water: whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had
[4] 5:10 The Greek word Ioudaioi refers specifically here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed Jesus in that time; also verses 15, 16, 18

Do You Want to be Healed?

Key Verse | John 5:6

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?"

Bio | Blake Holmes

My name is Blake Holmes, and I am the proud husband to Rebecca Holmes and the father to four kids.

I found healing and freedom in Jesus Christ after a valet car parker shared the gospel with me while I was in middle school. Ever since then, I've given my life to telling others where hope is ultimately found.

My closest friends know that I enjoy country music (think George Strait, not Luke Bryan), real Texas BBQ (think beef, not pork), and watching football (think college, not pro). 

Central Truth

Healing and freedom are found in Jesus Christ.

Devotional | John 5:1–17

Every time I read this passage I'm struck by Jesus' question. Why would Jesus ask this of a man who had been crippled for 38 years?

Isn't the answer obvious?

Of course he wants to be healed!


Every time I read this passage I'm struck by Jesus' question. Why would Jesus ask this of a man who had been crippled for 38 years?

Isn't the answer obvious?

Of course he wants to be healed!

There must have been more to Jesus' question than what appears on the surface. What was Jesus really asking?

The text offers us a clue. The man believed that healing would come from the pool waters near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. During that time, the people believed that the first person to enter the water after it stirred would be healed.

Jesus challenged the man's belief. Would he trust in the superstitious beliefs of the day, or would he trust in the Divine Physician?

Jesus' question to the lame man is just as instructive for us today as it was back then. We must ask ourselves, "To whom or what am I looking for healing?" Or, said another way, do I want to get well on my terms or on God's?

The truth of the matter is not everyone wants to be healed, not if it means they may have to give up a particular habit, fantasy, or fleeting source of pleasure. I've seen it many times. A man hates the weight of conviction he carries after binging on pornography, but he isn't willing to cut off every means of access. A young adult admits that alcohol is strengthening its grip on her life, but she cannot imagine socializing without a drink in her hand and refuses to give it up. In both cases, they don't want freedom. They simply don't want to suffer the consequences of their choices.

Jesus wasn't asking the lame man if he simply wanted to be healed of his physical paralysis, but if he wanted to be healed of an even greater sickness—sin and death.

Jesus offers us this same healing if we will simply trust in Him.

What about you? Do you want to be healed?

See Comments

Discussion Questions

1. What are you asking the Lord for today?

2. Do you believe He is the ultimate source of healing and freedom?

3. Do you want to be healed? On His terms or yours?

13 Comments available

Gabriel Adel 3 days ago

The simplicity that Jesus brings to a complex situation, still left a room for clarity and better understanding! And you are one of these people that God uses to bring that clarity and understand of Gods words through Christ to many, including myself.

I liked: “To whom or what am I looking for healing?” Or, said another way, do I want to get well on my terms or on God’s?

As I reflected on the above, it makes me realized that each time I failed to surrender to God’s will regarding any situation in my life, either to heal me from sins, difficult situation or just making a decision concerning life, I am dictating the terms for God to work things out.

Thanks again for the Message!

Ricardo Meade 6 days ago

Great devo Blake! How marveling would it be to see Jesus bringIng life into withered legs, paralyzed for 38 years. Wow. I can still hear him asking me that same question as I looked up at the sky, angry with God, years ago. Do you want to be healed? And when I said yes, he breathed that same life into my mangled heart and restored our marriage. Thanks Blake, for always being a voice of wisdom and guiding me to my savior. Miss seeing your face!

Andrew Smith 6 days ago
Reply right arrow


Sue Bohlin 7 days ago

Aaaaaaand we have another awesome Blake Holmes devo! Nailed. It.

Yesterday my takeaway was to ask the Lord for what I want/need without specifying HOW He should answer. Today I see the same lesson. Jesus asks the paralytic if he wants to be healed, and the man focuses on the HOW rather than the WHO.

I also see manipulative hinting in his answer “I have no one to put me in the pool,” which is a coded message for “Would YOU lower me into the pool?” Years ago I learned that healthy people ask for what they want and need, rather than resorting to manipulation, or hoping for mind reading.

I also learn that when Jesus asks a question, I ought to answer the question He asks and not redirect. Like this guy did.

Greg Jones 7 days ago

I love questionable titles.

Mark2:1-5 & Luke5:17-20

Describe Jesus early in his ministry teaching in Galilee. The place he is teaching in is crowded. Mark describes the crowds as outside the door. Luke says people came from all over the area, even from Jerusalem andJudea. All those people taking in the living water Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman at the well. Then in both accounts friends bring a lame man on his mat and tear a hole in the roof to lower him in front of Jesus. Both accounts, Jesus seeing their, faith, says “son your sins are forgiven.”

Some thought, who can forgive sin? Jesus said, Son of Man. Then Jesus said take up your mat and walk.

Later, (John20:23) Jesus will tell his disciples:

“If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Greg Jones 7 days ago


In Jerusalem, by the sheep gate, a pool, there a great number used to lie, the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. There was a roof, or two, or five.

Jesus,”You want to get well?” Invalid,”Sir I have no one to lower me into the sheep drink. When the water gets stirred, others rush in ahead of me. Jesus, Take up your mat and walk.

I think he wants to get healed. Instead of saying yes he describes what it’s like being where the sheep mostly drink. But what’s up with the five roofed colonnades?

Q1 Eye chart. I want to see how He inspired His gospel writers better.

CATRICE HINES 7 days ago

Love this scripture passage! Do YOU want to be healed? Great discussion questions too as we all sit in quarantine right now. Today I’m asking the Lord: continueD PROVISION however He wants to do it. That’s the fun and exciting part. Also asking God for healing of our land, our families, our nation, salvation for the lost. Prodigals to come running back to a loving patient Father. Healing on His terms is always better than our terms! Amen!

Trey Collins 7 days ago

Gmorm Blake, great devo. I would add the man was desperate for healing, on any terms. His physical affliction was horrible to live with.

To your points, often sinful affliction doesn’t seem too bad and we think we can live with it so we aren’t desperate enough to be free. Sinful affliction is worse than any physical ailment, as sin separates us from God. See Mathew 10:28. Praying for us this morning Blake for joyful freedom in Christ!

Jeff Bassett 7 days ago

Thanks Blake! I do want to be healed by God but the struggle whatever it is in our life is doing it on HIs terms and giving up the control.

Something I also find interesting is when the healed man is questioned about carrying his mat and who told him. This man was probably known in the community and instead of celebrating this healing their focus is on the rules. I wonder if that is some jealousy at that’s not fair. But are they willing to give up what they need for their own healing and put faith where it should go?


michael mcgowen 7 days ago

It’s hard to imagine why a prophet has no honor in his hometown especially Jesus who went around healing people all day long, maybe it’s our routine we always stick to and we refuse to look at another way, looks like we all have disabilities we have been burdened with for a long time some are more real than others thank god you can heal them, I like the last verse my father is working so am I, I’m still believing so is everyone else here, I’m going to work in the garage we love you lord

john hill 7 days ago

Thanks Blake… for the devo and your leadership at Watermark. You and Hugh offer some wise counsel. I agree with Hugh, I usually want change on MY terms, but Isaiah 55:8 is a great reminder that there is a better way than my way. I need to seek His way.

Ronnie Oldfield 7 days ago

Love the Key Question. This is one of those “obvious right answer” questions and Blake and Hugh point is to ourselves. Digging deeper into me, Jesus knows my heart. I have accepted His healing in so many areas of life. But my my goal is to continue transforming, keep seeking renewal of my mind. Continue to accept healing for self centeredness, set aside self importance, be more desirous to always share the source of my healing with others so they might also choose to move from death to life. Thanks for sharing how a valet did that for you Blake. I am encouraged.

Hugh Stephenson 8 days ago

GM BLAKE!! Love the car valet story. What a testimony!

Of course, I want healing on my terms.

In Prodigal, WCC’s ministry for those struggling with family relationships, we often ask the room a question:

“Who wants change?”

Everyone raises their hand.

Then we ask the REAL question:

“Who wants TO change?”

Not many hands.

The hard truth is the change starts with us. Until you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’re going to be sick and tired.

Said another way, “If nothing ever changes then nothing ever changes.”

Prodigal participants want their prodigal family member to change without them having to change; usually their codependency and enabling.

Been there. Done that. Doesn’t happen.

“There aren’t any atheists in foxholes”, they say. If its bad enough, almost everyone breaks, (Luke 15:16)

My truth?

Weakness is strength. Surrender is victory. Obedience is freedom.

2 Corinthians 12:9

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